comedy The Simpsons (1989- ). Marge continuously struggles to
excel within the confines of motherhood, trying to be a good
mother to her children while remaining sexually active to please
herself (Feltmate & Brackett 542). Although Grace’s children are
grown, her role as a mother never ends and, arguably, has
expanded with the addition of grandchildren in her life. The
restrictions on sexuality only increase as women age; as a result,
there are little examples of the motherhood mystique in reference
to the sexual fulfillment of grandmothers in sitcoms.
This taboo issue is initially reinforced in “The Sex” as
Grace is hesitant about advancing her relationship with her new
boyfriend, Guy (Craig T. Nelson). At her age, Grace is less
concerned about how her sex life might interfere with her
mothering or grandmothering than she is about her ability to
perform (or even the mere thought of her ability to perform).
Viewers are able to see this firsthand during a conversation
between Grace and Frankie.
Grace: (whispers) Can we stop talking about this now!
Frankie: Why are you freaking out? Breakdown your
emotions for me.
Grace: Annoyance, irritation…
Frankie: No that’s what you’re feeling about me, I’m
talking about tonight. Are you nervous this will
be the first time in 40 years that a straight man
will see you naked?
Grace: No, because the lights will be off, matter of fact
I’m going to turn off all the lights in San Diego!
Frankie: What about vaginal dryness, are you worried
Grace: I am now!
Grace is originally ashamed and embarrassed about her sexuality,
but toward the conclusion of the episode, viewers see that Grace